1st Annual Camping Trip – 2014

As a child I was blessed with some great parents.  Even though way back in the day when their English was limited, they took us on some great adventures.  We took many flights across the states to the East as well as road trips all the way up north to Canada.  It gives me the tingles to be able to share these adventures and begin new ones with my guy and my sister’s kids.

Since this is the first time we’ve all been in the same place at the same time, our family decided to go camping. {WAIT! I lie, the Disney cruise was the first time, oops!!}  And what better place to camp then Lake Silverwood in Hesperia.  As kids, our parents took us there on day trips and I remember those as some good times during our childhood.

Because our guys are very little, we didn’t want to trek too far for their first camping experience.  This was also the first time we were going camping with the Kiles!  {they were great fun with their dr.love jokes!}  Thanks for coming guys!  I hope we have more good times!

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Obviously the kids were so hard at work putting up the tents that they were also the first ones to sit down as well!

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After setting up, we were graced with some beautiful light!

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Again, I took too many photos!  But our food spread was too good not to share!  I mean really Mom…who brings shrimp and squid camping?!  It was a bit gourmet…ookkaayy maybe a lot gourmet since we also had mimosas!

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The kids had a blast at the lake.  It was hard to get them to leave!  The lake itself wasn’t too bad but the wind might’ve been a wee bit strong and made it a bit chillier than normal.

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Lake Silverwood is a great place to camp with your kids.  Hopefully next year, we can do this again a bit longer at a different spot!

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Why I Blog

bora013

(photo credit: Abra Klinger Photography)

August is coming to a close and September is nearly here. Half the year is over and Christmas is fast approaching. It’s crazy how fast children grow and if we don’t stop to enjoy life’s precious moments, it can be gone in a flash.

Today I’ll be answering some questions I got from my friends when I first started doing this blog. I think it’s important that I share them because they represent who I am and my views on life.

“Why did you start this blog? Was it to document your son’s life growing up?”

I started this blog for a variety of reasons. Here are the main ones. I needed an outlet to share everything, I mean everything! I’m always looking for tutorials on crafts, sewing, photography, diy’s…so why not “do my duty” {doh!} and contribute as well! At least I know someone, somewhere is reading it. And yes, some of it is to document my son growing up and to share my experiences with my readers and hopefully spread some joy and love through my photographs of him. My heart is so full of him that I need to share it with whoever is listening.

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“It always looks like you’re doing something fun. How do you do it?”

My camera is always nearby within easy reach. And no, we’re not always doing something fun. Though it looks like we take trips all the time, we are not. They are probably spaced about a week or two weeks apart. I just manage to photograph as many photos as I can and also delete many photos…or you can call me a photo hoarder.  Even though many phones are capable of taking fantastic photos, I still prefer my DSLR and will lug it with me everywhere even if it does make my bag ten pounds heavier.  We also look for cheap places and look for groupons whenever possible.  For the most part, toddlers are free everywhere.

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“Your photos are so happy. Do you have any of them with the kids crying?”

Thank you. Kids being happy in photos makes me happy. I have as many happy photos as I do of them crying. I choose not to publish the unhappy ones because the kids don’t have a choice yet of how they want themselves portrayed online. When they have an opinion on it, I will then ask them. And when they get older, if they say no pictures…no pictures it is 😦  Luckily for me, the Diva is almost always willing to pose for me!

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And there you have it, questions answered! If you have any more, shoot me an e-mail and I will answer them! I read every comment and question so please be gentle!

Watermelon Shark & Chocolate Cake

Shark Week is still going strong!  What’s a party without a shark shaped watermelon to serve to your guests?  Thanks to my brother-in-law Jon for taking the time to contribute to my guy’s fin-tastic party.  It was jaw-some!

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There are many many tutorials for this online and especially on one of my favorite websites…Pinterest!  So take your party to the next level and make a shark watermelon to serve your fruit out of and also serves as a visually appealing decorative item to the party! However you do it the little ones are going to be sooo amazed!

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And let’s not forget about his fabulous 2nd B-day birthday chocolate cake done by one of my favorite peoples in the world, Eunhye Shim!  You can follow her on IG @SUBBIE120!  Her work is gorgeous, freaking amazeballs, and taste delicious as well! {you know normally you get the great looking cake and then it taste like paper?!…hers is a little slice of heaven!}

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All our favorite things in a cake!  The ocean, sharks, and surfing baby on a polka-dot board! I know you can’t really tell in the photos but I’m sure it is not coincidental that the board is somewhat a replica of my very own custom 7’0 polka dot fun board!  Her details are stunning and it is such a gift to me that she was able to contribute this to his B-day party!  She’s sooo busy!

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It was so hot and humid in the afternoon that by 2:00, Bruce the Shark swam down to the table 😦

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She’s great right?!

Shark Photo Prop

So we got Alien sharks, Sharkageddon, Megalodon, Escaping Jaws 2, annnd Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine!  Are you over it yet…I hope not as we get ready for Sharksanity on Saturday!  This shark week is getting better every day!  Follow me on IG @babababora to get a glimpse of my shark week shirt.

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What’s a party without a photo prop?!  And a shark one at that!  With a little help from Pinterest and my awesome brother who basically made this entire prop for my Viking’s 2nd B-day party…it turned out fairly awesome.  With a few test runs and layers of paint later…he came out fierce!

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Back in the day before no kid, I would’ve thought these photos props were lame but ya’ know what…they’re absolutely not!  Of course being me {the photogmom}, I made everyone take a photo with all the props we had.  If I had more time, I would’ve made red chum bean bags so the kids could throw them through the mouth and it would double as a game!  We also had a beach babe and beach hunk body to take photos with as well!

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DIY Tip:  When making the beach bodies, you only need to use one board!  Paint one side the female body and the other side male!  And poof!…you can thank me for saving you money now.

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Isn’t this photo too funny?!  So it seems every time I take a photo, Mr. Daredevil there (my handsome nephew) mimics me and puts up his invisible camera to take a photo now!  At first we didn’t know why until I figured out he was acting like he was holding something near his face.  Hilarious!

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Look at these two cutie patooties!  She had on a seahorse dress and he had on a shark shirt!  They were both ready to party!

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Don’t be afraid to be silly and scared that no one will like the efforts you made, for your biggest fan is the only voice that counts and at the end of the day will give you the biggest hugs!  Soooo GO… and make your sharknado of a party fabulous with as many photo props as you can make!  I give you my blessing!

Shark-tastic Desserts

Are you tired of my shark referenced puns?!  Well…alls I can say is too bad…YOU will look forward to a whole week of them!  My little man’s shark themed birthday party got off to the right start with these sweet treats.

To top everything off we’ve got some Pinterest-inspired desserts for you and a lil’ bit of a DIY tip as well.  Who doesn’t want to eat these awesome desserts?!  Thanks to Megan & Diane Kile for making them and helping with the dessert set-up!  Couldn’t have asked for better than these fellow crafters!  Feel free to pin away and let’s get this party started!

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Make your shark jello with blue jello {of course!}, get some shark gummies, tear open a few cuties, and top that boat with a sail!  Our sails were from the store but you can easily make your own with cute tape {available everywhere} and a toothpick.  Grab some spoons and eat up!

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Onto some sun action here.  We got those teddy grahams sunbathing on some brownies sprinkled with graham crackers for sand and lying on those sour tape things and an umbrella to protect them from the sun!  Those slippahs are nutter butters with colored icing and a m&m.  Sooo easy peasy!

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Marshmallow fish pops!  So you’ve probably seen many versions of this online and many tutorials and you’re probably wondering, “why didn’t she cover the whole marshmallow in blue chocolate to resemble the ocean?”.  I actually did a test run of these a couple days before the party and covered the entire marshmallow in blue chocolate and I was on a sugar high the rest of the day.  Can you imagine kids eating those all day?  Yup, thought so.  So I covered only half and just went with it.  You will need jumbo marshmallows, crushed graham cracker crust, bag of fishes, blue melting chocolate, and lollipop sticks.  This also works best if you roll the marshmallow into the chocolate rather than dipping it.  I also used vegetable oil to get a runny consistency for the chocolate.  If you’re the type to need an exact tutorial, here is a good blog, See Vanessa Craft.  She has awesome photos too!  I would have them too but most times I’m in too much of a hurry to get them done!

Aren’t these so much fun?  And super easy for you to do with little to no effort for your shark/beach themed party.  And who says you have to have a party to make these?  It’s shark week…make em’ now!

Shark Week is HERE!!

Sunday post…weird right!?!?

My little man and I are super excited and this is our favorite week of the year…Shark Week!  And it happened to follow Odin’s shark/beach themed party!  So here’s a little sneak peek of upcoming stuff on the blog!

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A close-up of Bruce the shark on his birthday cake!  {what amazing detail…too good to eat!}

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Some sharks swimming and we had to have a shark watermelon {thanks Uncle Jon for carving it out!}

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Annd…I never ever {RARELY} post a photo of myself on the blog but for his birthday, I will make an exception.  He only turns two once!  Check out our shark shirts! {photo credit taken by Megan Kile as I bossily told her what I wanted…lol}

We are sooo EXCITED and Discovery Channel is kicking it off tonight!  Whoop whoop!  Check out the rest of the week for more!

Orange County Fair – 2014

OC Fair, one word = hot!  An experience that hopefully the kids won’t forget and will maybe remember.  Corn dogs, lemonade, fruit…you name it, the fair has got it.  We ventured out on a cloudy Sunday morning and hoped it would stay that way but as fate would have it…sun came out and heated us up.   It made for a gorgeous day nonetheless.

Our favorite part was having the kids getting their faces painted.  Nothing I like better than enthusiastic and happy face painters!

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I think the boys enjoyed looking at each other after the face painting.

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Of course the fair had the requisite barn animals, rides, and carnival games.  One of the other highlights was entering the “air-conditioned” building full of artwork and masterpieces.  The cakes were fabulous to look at and the desserts that were entered into the contests were delightfully dazzling.

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I am amazed at the time people take to grow their own fruits and vegetables! Sadly, everything I grow gets the Bora touch and eventually wilts away 😦

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Check out that Eiffel Tower in the top middle photo…can you guess what it’s made out of?! Here’s a close-up shot.

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Miniature perfume bottles!  How cool!

While there are many many pros of the fair, let’s face it…there are also cons.  While the pros far outweigh the cons, I gotta be honest and list some cons that kind of bothered me but I just “let it go” at the end of the day.

  •  Not many rides for the 3 and younger crowd
  •  Employees of the carnival games seemed to be “not happy” to be working the fair.  {C’mon guys, these kids are super excited to be at the fair and are super excited to play these games…the least you can do is smile when they actually win something}

I hope you enjoyed my OC Fair 2014 review!  I don’t want to end on a bad note so hopefully this guy’s smile will make you smile in return.  I know just looking at him makes me get the honey glow something awful!

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Note: This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Toddler Tip – Yogurt with a Straw!

Let’s start this off again with me saying I’m sorry for not posting at least once last week!  My bad…it’s just been a bit busy.  But I’m glad to say that I’ve got lots of stuff for the coming weeks. There’s been so much going on, the OC Fair, park visits, and yes…my little Viking turned 2!  Wowzers…where has the time gone!

Back to the post at hand…now where did I see this at?!  I don’t remember but all I know is a lightbulb dinged in my head and I was like…wow that is AMAZING {hence…all caps!) and I’m going to share it with everyone I know!

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I mean…who really is looking forward to the mess your little ones make with yogurt and a spoon?  And then…ba boom!  Why didn’t I just stick a straw in there and let them the sip the yogurt out?  The heavens opened up and looked down at me generously that day!  This works for all young ages, not just toddlers.  I use it for my 6-year old niece as well and it works like a dream.  They can even hold the container with their little hands!  Easy-peasy.

The ones with the metallic lids work best because you can easily poke the straw through.  The one in my photo is from Costco and those work best if you have a reusable straw because it’s a bit sturdier to poke with…or you can poke with a fork.  I also prefer Yoplait because it is a but runnier than the other yogurts and sips through the straw easier.  Feel free to comment if you know of other yogurts that are runny and yummy for the kiddos.

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Have a great weekend and remember my toddler tip for the day!  Look forward to other toddler tips on Mondays to start your week off.

Note: This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Ambassador of Fruit

If fruit had an ambassador, it would be me.  For as long as I remember I am big on eating fresh fruit.  And I may have influenced many people along the way, mainly my old school friends.  I love that I am still connected to them and that they are a part of my life… it is amazing that some of us have kids!  Sometimes I go back memory lane with them and I always hear, “You know what Beth {that’s what I went by back in the day}, I eat more fruit and berries because of you!”.  It makes me smile and laugh when I hear that.  It makes me feel good.  That’s not to say I don’t eat junk food…I still like a twinkie and ho-ho every now and then, but if I had to choose my toppings for yogurt, I’d choose fresh fruit over candy any day.

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Onto my latest adventure with the little guys…we went to Downtown Long Beach Farmer’s Market (here’s a good link for more info, http://www.goodveg.org/LBDT.html).  I have to say I’m a little disappointed in it.  In my heyday, it was humoungous and offered all sorts of things from food to crafts and it was on the promenade.  I mean, it just went on forever.  Now it is on one block with very little vendors and sadly…no crafts.

One of the best things though is the apple guy.  He sells apples {well obviously!} and he cuts them into different characters for the kids!  In minutes too!

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{I will also say it disappeared in minutes and the head managed to roll somewhere unknown}

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And thanks to the guys on the right who gave us free samples of their rib tip!

Coming to America

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{Photo Credit: Left is unknown and right is the fabulous Abra @ Abra Klinger Photography}

And you’re probably thinking Eddie Murphy?!  Well…not quite like him.  This is my story.  The picture on the left is my Dad and I taken in the Philippines right before we arrived in the United States in 1984.  Our family fled the country of Cambodia amidst the Khmer Rouge war with my older sister and went through Thailand where I was born and were sponsored by a church in California and had the latest addition to our family, my younger brother.  In the photo, I just turned 2.

The photo on the right is of course, my guy and I.  He is about to turn 2 as well.  This is probably one of my all-time favorite photos.  Though my parents had very little money, they were able to get film photographs of my sister and I when we were very young.  When my toddler gets older, I hope that this is also one of his favorite photographs.  I want him to be proud that he is half-Khmer and to be able to speak and understand it as my parents have taught us.

{Photo credit on the right is fellow photographer of Abra Klinger Photography.  She specializes in newborn/maternity photography! She is amaze balls!}